I love playing sensory boxes with the LO. It's simple to make, super engaging and provides a number of learning opportunities. For this sensory box, I have uncooked elbow pasta, but you can use anything... sand, salt, pompoms, etc. Whatever you like really.
Today, I opted to use animals...
Sensory boxes are great for teaching children rules. You can help your child understand that their actions have consequences. One simple rule I have with the sensory box is that the contents stays inside. Did this happen? Of course not! The LO would throw the pasta out of the box and look at me with a smirk on her face waiting for my reaction. And EVERY time this happened, I calmly told her "sensory box is finish, pasta stays inside". Now at 2.5 months, the LO picks up the pasta when they fall out and she never purposely throw the pasta. But of course, it took some time for her to understand this rule.
Another thing I love about sensory boxes is that they give you the opportunity to teach cognitive concepts. You can teach your child the name of the animals and the sounds they make. You can talk about colors and body parts. You can count. The possibilities are limitless.You can use other things like people, toy cars, etc. Once the child is older, you can use letters and numbers.
I think the best benefit of sensory boxes is how it fosters language. It enables you and your child to engage in back and forth conversation.
And the best part of playing with sensory boxes is that you can play with it too!! It helps me distress and calm down, After all adults gets overwhelmed too with our day to day activities.